The theme of the 2012 conference was â€œTransformations,â€ and so many of the presentations and lectures and papers shared at this conference so thoughtfully and productively addressed this idea and practice in both Gloria AnzaldÃºaâ€™s ouvre and from the perspective of other fields and bodies of knowledge in relation to AnzaldÃºan thought. Dr. Nancy â€œRustyâ€ BarcelÃ³, President of Northern New Mexico University, and Dr. Norma AlarcÃ³n delivered plenary speeches that challenged us to do the transformative work, in our actions in higher education as well as in our consciousness and self-growing, that so occupied AnzaldÃºa. I was not able to make the trip to AnzaldÃºaâ€™s burial site, where Dr. Aida Hurtado also delivered a talk. The Noche de Cultura was a beautiful and energizing evening of song and dance with original compositions performed by Nancy â€œRustyâ€ BarcelÃ³, traditional and original mariachi songs from Carmencristina, folk music from Brenda Romero, fandango from Martha GonzÃ¡lez and Quetzal who also joined the finale performance of Fandango Tejas. Fandango is fun! Since my explorations of AnzaldÃºaâ€™s work have centered on how she queers the religious imaginary, I was particularly interested in the panels on indigenous worldviews, spirituality and religiosity in all its forms, though I could only, lamentably, attend a couple, but thatâ€™s a good reason to look for these papers in published form in either the published conference proceedings /Â Mundo ZurdoÂ volumesÂ or the MALCS journalÂ Chicana/Latina Studies, or to research on a trip to the Gloria AnzaldÃºa Archives at UT-Austin.
From readings of and about AnzaldÃºaâ€™s work, from conversations with those who worked with her, from hearing and witnessing her in action â€” in my case, in the early 1990s at a campus-wide lecture/presentation she gave at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (where I was a returning undergraduate student many years ago) â€” we know that transformation was at the center of her project, that it was a life-long project, that she hoped to win others to engaging in this life-long project, and that in every level of academia or sphere of community or professional/career/work life in which she found herself, she lived that project, consciously and daily.
Theresa Delgadillo is on the faculty at Ohio State University, Moderator/Editor ofÂ Mujeres TalkÂ Blog and Chair Elect of MALCS. Her bookÂ Spiritual Mestizaje: Religion, Gender, Race and Nation in Contemporary Chicana NarrativeÂ (2011) addresses AnzaldÃºaâ€™s theory and method of spiritual mestizaje,